Homer's Travels: Movies: The Great Escape and The Magnificent Seven

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Movies: The Great Escape and The Magnificent Seven

This weekend we watched a couple of classic movies: The Great Escape (TGE) and The Magnificent Seven (TM7).

Neither of us had seen TGE so we had it on our Blockbuster list. The movie, directed by John Sturges, is based on a true story of World War II prisoners of war trying to escape from a German prisoner of war camp. The movies stars an ensemble cast including Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Donald Pleasence, and many more. The movie is 170 minutes long but the story and characters are so engrossing that the movie flies by. I was left wanting to see more which explains why we also watched a DVD documentary about the making of the movie. The movie was released in 1963 and it holds up surprisingly well. I guess war hasn't changed much in the last 44 years. If you haven't seen TGE or haven't seen it in a long time, I recommend renting it. A very good movie.

Our next movie was another old movie directed by John Sturges: The Magnificent Seven. TM7 stars Yul Brenner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, and others. The movie, based on the Japanese story, the Seven Samurai, is a classic western. While it was good, it didn't quite hold up. If you like westerns then I guess you would like it. I think westerns are OK but they are not my first choice. Watching TM7 just reinforced my belief.

They are both good movies but The Great Escape is the better movie. Blockbuster is allowing us to explore old classics. After chasing after the latest hits, we have to remember that some of the old movies can be entertaining too.

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